Getting in the vitamins you need helps your body function at its very best. But why are vitamins important, and what do vitamins do for the body that you can’t get elsewhere? †
While many of us are getting enough calories in our diet, we may not be getting in all of the vitamins we need.
Not to worry - getting in the essential vitamins you need is entirely possible! If you’re asking yourself “should I take a multivitamin?” this article will cover how taking a vitamin supplement can support your health. †
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds essential for normal body function, growth, and development. They are considered organic because they are made from living things, such as plants and animals. Since vitamins are organic, they can more easily be broken down by heat, air, or acid. This means it can be harder to retain vitamins when exposed to various situations. †
Complementing your vitamin intake from food with a daily multivitamin supplement can help fill in nutrition gaps that may arise from not getting enough in your diet.
Fat-soluble vs. Water-soluble
There are two types of vitamins - fat-soluble and water-soluble, depending on how they’re broken down and absorbed in the body.
Fat-soluble vitamins are just as they sound - your body absorbs them alongside the fats in your diet. Once they are absorbed, they are stored in fat tissue and stay in the body longer than water-soluble vitamins. The four fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Water-soluble vitamins are dissolved in water and absorbed into the body faster. The challenge is that because these vitamins are absorbed and removed so quickly, they need to be replenished regularly through your diet and supplements.
Vitamins B and C are water-soluble vitamins, and thus, are important to get enough of these key vitamins daily.
If you’re wondering what do vitamins do for the body, here are 6 key vitamins you need as part of your daily routine.
Why you need it: Vitamin A can support a healthy immune system, vision, and skin health.†
Where you can find it: Good food sources include leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, bell peppers, milk, eggs, liver, and fish oil.
Why you need it: The B-complex vitamins consist of 9 different B vitamins, where each plays its own unique role in cellular energysupport, helping to break down food into celluar energy you can use all day long.†
Where you can find them: Good food sources include beans, chickpeas, leafy greens, liver, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Why you need it: Vitamin C, as an antioxidant vitamin supports a healthy immune system. It also helps the body make collagen, which supports skin health.†
Where you can find them: Good food sources include citrus fruits, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes.
Why you need it: Vitamin D also supports a healthy immune response, as well as bone, teeth, and muscle health.†
Where you can find it: Good sources include egg yolks, mushrooms, liver, salmon, tuna, fortified milk, and orange juice. There are not many foods naturally high in Vitamin D, so it is a bit more challenging to get into the diet.
The most consistent sources of vitamin D is from the sun (if you get regular exposure) or in supplement form.
Why you need it: Vitamin E is another antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system and fights free radicals. These are unstable molecules that can that can damage healthy cells†
Where you can find it: Good sources include sunflower oil, almonds, peanuts, avocado, mango, spinach, and asparagus.
Why you need it: Vitamin K supports healthy vascular function and helps maintain a healthy circulatory system.†
Where you can find it: Good food sources include leafy greens like kale, spinach, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, soybean oil, and canola oil.
3 Reasons to Take Vitamins
Why are vitamins important? Well, vitamins are here to complement your diet and to support your wellbeing. Here are the top 3 reasons to take vitamins.†
Support Body Function
Do you ever feel like your body is struggling to get through your daily tasks? Vitamins help keep our bodies functioning in tip-top shape. Each nutrient has its own unique job to play to help you reach your wellness goals.
Proper nutrition is paramount to graceful aging.Nutrition
Vitamins are part of a well-rounded nutrition plan. A vitamin supplement can provide the peace of mind that you are getting in some essential nutrients when your diet falls off track.
What Can Vitamins Do For You?
Vitamins serve several other essential roles in the body.
Getting in the vitamins you need supports a health immune system, and as previously mentioned, Vitamin C is especially supportive in this area.†
Many vitamins are essential to a healthy metabolism, especially the B-complex vitamins. They are in cahoots with enzymes in your body, helping them break down nutrients in your diet for cellular energy.†
We need Calcium for healthy bones, but did you know Vitamin D is needed for the body to absorb Calcium? Since it is challenging to get enough through diet, taking a multivitamin with Vitamin D can help fill this gap.†
Start Your Own Vitamin Routine Today
As a Registered Dietitian, my clients always ask the question “why are vitamins important?” I know it’s not always easy to eat as healthy as you’d like, so taking a daily multivitamin supplement can help you meet your health and wellness goals.†
Speak to your doctor or preferred health care professional about how to start your own vitamin routine in a way that serves you best.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Van Ballegooijen AJ, Beulens JW. The Role of Vitamin K Status in Cardiovascular Health: Evidence from Observational and Clinical Studies. Curr Nutr Rep. 2017;6(3):197-205. doi: 10.1007/s13668-017-0208-8. Epub 2017 Jul 10. PMID: 28944098; PMCID: PMC5585988.
Melissa Mitri, RD is a seasoned dietitian and health writer. She specializes in helping women move away from restrictive habits that lead to vicious yo-yo weight cycles. Melissa enjoys writing about health, nutrition, and fitness with the goal of simplifying complex health topics for the reader. Find out more about Melissa at www.melissamitri.com
Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.